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5 Reasons I’m Buying a TP-Link Wi-Fi Extender

Smartphone Wi-Fi wifi network

5 Reasons I’m Buying a TP-Link Wi-Fi Extender

Key Points

  • TP-Link Wi-Fi extenders are affordable, starting at about $30 and offering high-speed Wi-Fi extensions at competitive prices.
  • TP-Link Wi-Fi extenders come in a sleek form factor that matches modern decor and can easily be hidden behind furniture.
  • TP-Link Wi-Fi extenders offer a wide variety of speed compatibilities, catering to both high and low-speed internet connections.
  • TP-Link Wi-Fi extenders have ethernet ports, providing stability and higher data transfer speeds that can’t be replicated with a wireless connection.
  • TP-Link also sells mesh network units, which replace your entire Wi-Fi hardware system and spread the Wi-Fi signal more evenly.

If you’re struggling with temperamental Wi-Fi, consider buying a Wi-Fi extender system to strengthen your connection as it moves away from your router. Those looking to buy a new Wi-Fi extender should definitely check out the ones from TP-Link! These cutting-edge Wi-Fi extenders feature high-speed Wi-Fi extensions at competitive prices. Their Wi-Fi extenders even have ethernet ports with Gigabit speeds! Let’s examine the most compelling reasons to check out a TP-Link Wi-Fi extender.

TP-Link Wi-Fi Extenders Are Extremely Affordable

wi-fi icon internet connectivity
Wi-Fi extenders can be expensive hardware, but TP-Link offers affordable ones.

High-end Wi-Fi extenders can cost upwards of $150 for competitive speeds and good coverage. However, you can buy one of TP-Link’s gigabit-enabled Wi-Fi extenders for under $100, starting at about $30. One of their fastest extenders is sitting at just $60. These Wi-Fi extenders also have a sleek, subtle form factor that plugs into an available wall outlet rather than requiring additional desk or table space. They are easily the sleekest, most widely compatible options for Wi-Fi extenders at their price point.

Most of TP-Link’s Wi-Fi extenders are range extenders, meaning you can’t use them in access point mode. Range extenders connect to a Wi-Fi access point wirelessly and then project the signal, allowing the signal to reach further. Access point extenders connect to the original router via ethernet and become a secondary AP in the network. AP Wi-Fi extenders can be more reliable than simple range extenders since they connect to the source with an ethernet port before projecting the signal at the original strength (depending on the ethernet cable, of course.)

TP-Link Wi-Fi Extenders Come in a Sleek Form Factor

wi-fi mobile device smartphone
TP-Link Wi-Fi extenders can fit into any home decor, while boosting your signal strength!

These Wi-Fi extenders will match your sleek, modern decor. They plug into a wall socket. Many are flat enough to hide behind furniture. Those that can’t aren’t much bigger than a scent diffuser and will easily match your home decor with their neutral colors and modern designs. Those with old-fashioned home decor may find these stick out a little. However, in that case, the ones you can hide are the best options to keep your home decor consistent while modernizing your internet experience.

The sleek form factor of these extenders will appeal primarily to the ultra-modern crowd. As with most technology, the modern look of the range extenders will fit with their other tech items better than those with a more classic style. However, TP-Link has an option for everyone, whether you want to put yours on display or hide it behind a table.

TP-Link Wi-Fi Extenders Come in a Wide Variety of Speed Compatibilities

best routers for security
Your Wi-Fi extender needs to be able to project the right internet speed or you’ll get a slow connection from it.

When buying internet equipment, many people neglect to consider gear compatibility. Your internet is only as fast as your equipment can handle. Even if you have gigabit internet speeds, you won’t get gigabit internet unless your router and other equipment can project internet that fast. Simply put, if your gear can’t support data transfers at gigabit speeds, you won’t get gigabit internet even if you pay for it. 

Conversely, if you’re a low-tech kind of person and you don’t need fast internet, there’s no reason to pay for a more expensive range extender that can handle super-fast speeds. One that matches your lower internet speed more closely will likely save you some money! 

However, with a lower internet speed, investing in a faster range extender can benefit you. As technology advances, faster internet speeds will become standard, and your package may be upgraded if your internet service provider phases out your lower-speed one. So, having that higher-speed gear can help you get the most out of your internet in the future and the present.

TP-Link sells extenders for both high and low-speed internet connections. Lower-end extenders have speeds in the low hundreds, and higher-end ones feature gigabit speeds.

TP-Link Wi-Fi Extenders Have Ethernet Ports

Edgerouter vs. Dream Machine
Many people who need stable, fast data transfer speeds continue to value ethernet connections over wireless ones.

While the average consumer has embraced the wireless age, wired LAN connections offer unique benefits that many demographics continue to benefit from. Ethernet connections provide stability and higher data transfer speeds that can’t be replicated with a wireless connection, making them popular with gamers, software engineers, and other people who need to download large repositories of files or transfer large files quickly.

Many low-cost Wi-Fi extenders don’t have ethernet ports. After all, they intend to make your Wi-Fi signalstronger. Why would you need a LAN port when your Wi-Fi reaches your office? However, even a stronger Wi-Fi connection isn’t good enough for some users. Additionally, Ethernet cables can be expensive, particularly long ones. So, a Wi-Fi extender with an Ethernet port can tackle two problems: making it easier for wireless users to get internet throughout your home and bringing the LAN port closer to your office.

TP-Link Wi-Fi Extenders Come in Mesh Form Factors

Types of network topology
Mesh networks replace your original router system with a multi-unit network.

TP-Link doesn’t just sell Wi-Fi range extenders. They also sell mesh network units. Regular range extenders merely repeat the original signal from your Wi-Fi router. Mesh networks replace your router system. If your router isn’t required by your ISP, mesh networks turn your single-unit router into a multi-unit network of interconnected devices that work similarly.

Typically, mesh network devices are more expensive than regular range extenders. Not all manufacturers make both. Since mesh network devices aren’t as common among the average consumer—though they are gaining market share quickly as they enter the peripheral view of regular users—many companies don’t want to invest in producing them. Thus, they can be prohibitively expensive to cover the cost of production and lack of interest.

However, TP-Link sells mesh network extenders for competitive prices. It’s important to remember that mesh networks primarily cost more because they require several units to get the most out of them. Unlike ranger extenders that can get a lot of mileage out of one extra unit, a mesh network is a complete replacement of your internet hardware network.

RankReason
1TP-Link Wi-Fi Extenders Are Extremely Affordable
2They Come in a Sleek Form Factor
3They Come in a Wide Variety of Speed Compatibilities
4TP-Link Wi-Fi Extenders Have Ethernet Ports
5They Come in Mesh Form Factors

Do I Need a Wi-Fi Extender? How to Determine If a Wi-Fi Extender Is Right for You

A Wi-Fi extender might be a tempting first solution to a poor signal. However, it shouldn’t be your first line of defense since it won’t help if you don’t diagnose the issue correctly. A Wi-Fi extender won’t remedy a poor connection unless the problem is that the connection itself is weak due to signal distance. If the connection is weak for a different reason, an extender will just project the same weak connection you already get.

It’s important to remember that there are downsides to using an extender. An extended signal, sent through a repeater, will halve its speed to compensate for the repeated signal. The repeater simply makes the signal travel further at the expense of how fast the data transfer is. Since the signal must pass through the repeater, a secondary layer of signal and data obfuscation, there is no way to alleviate the lowered data transfer rates.

Should I Consider a Mesh Network?

You can also consider a mesh network, which replaces your entire Wi-Fi hardware system. Mesh networks are extenders that spread your Wi-Fi signal around a huge space by setting up multiple hardware units. These units share the same Wi-Fi information but project the signal more evenly since the unit projects the source signal; it doesn’t need to receive the source signal and repeat the projection. So, it doesn’t need to be placed close enough to the source to receive the signal.

What Is a Powerline Adapter?

A powerline adapter might be a better choice for a more stable connection. Powerline adapters connect directly to the source router. They’re good for providing strong, stable Wi-Fi connections to locations that have signal-obscuring structures or appliances like cement walls or microwaves. However, they’re harder to install than mesh networks since powerline adapters need to connect to the same circuit in your home. Many large homes that might benefit from a powerline adapter run multiple circuits.

So, you need someone with suitable electrical experience to determine which circuit your devices need to be powered by. Let’s determine how to determine if a range extender is best for your needs.

Step 1: Test Your Wi-Fi Signal

The first step to figuring out what extender best suits your use case is to test your Wi-Fi signal. Range extenders and other extender-type devices solve the problem of poor Wi-Fi signal strength. If your Wi-Fi signal strength is fine, but your Wi-Fi connection is just not the best to begin with, you won’t see a benefit from getting an extender-type device.

InSSIDer Lite is a free tool that can help you map your home’s signal strength in numbers rather than just guessing based on how your internet acts. You want your internet signal to fall between -67 and -70 dBm at the worst. Anything below -80 dBm will start to act strange and be unreliable. If your internet signal consistently falls at or above this range, an extender-type device will not affect your internet experience.

Step 2: Test Your Internet Connection

If you aren’t finding legitimate dead zones in your home when faced with the numbers, you probably have an issue with low internet speed, causing your internet to act like there are dead zones when the signal quality is fine.

Check your ISP’s user portal to determine how fast your internet should be. If your package speed is low, then you’ll get slow internet no matter where you are in the home. However, if you have a high package speed but your speed test comes back slower than the intended speed, you may need to upgrade your Wi-Fi equipment to be compatible with the higher speed.

While it might be tempting to reuse the same router bought twenty years ago, older equipment can only handle lower-speed internet. When you try to run higher data transfer speeds through a low-speed device, the device will throttle the internet down to its hardware-enforced lower speed.

Upgrading your router to one compatible with the speeds your internet wants to run at is crucial to getting the experience you deserve from your internet connection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Wi-Fi range extender?

Range extenders, called “repeaters” in radio frequencies, receive a wireless signal and then project that signal again, allowing a single signal to travel further. Thus, they extend the range of a signal beyond what the source device can output.

Will a Wi-Fi range extender make my connection more stable?

A range extender can produce a more stable connection when devices move too far from the source router, causing a poor-quality signal due to distance, obstruction, or interference. If your connection issue is caused by a low internet speed, you will not see a benefit from buying a range extender.

How do I know if I have a poor-quality internet signal?

You can check your internet signal strength using a tool like InSSIDer Lite that displays the numerical signal strength. You want a signal that sits no lower than -70 dBm. Anything lower than -80 dBm will be irregular and unreliable.

How do I know if I have low internet speed?

Online speed tests can give you the numerical data on your internet’s up and download speeds. If your internet is transferring data at a significantly slower rate than you’re paying for, you may have an issue with your hardware. Old hardware will throttle your internet speed because the hardware is incapable of handling high-speed internet.

What are the types of internet range extenders?

Range extenders, or repeaters, intake a wireless signal and then repeat the signal, extending it. Mesh networks turn a signal unit network into a multi-unit one covering a larger space. Powerline adapters create a second hardwired connection and provide a more stable signal in use cases with interference or signal obstruction.

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